A one-time Soviet sanatorium that's been given a hip modern makeover, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi in Georgia is a slice of contemporary cool in the middle of some spectacular mountain scenery. It's the perfect setting for a Wes Anderson-eque adventure, where the stars – you – are ably abetted by a supporting cast of expert local guides, eager to introduce you to the intricacies of this intriguing East-meets-West part of the world. Flawless service from the bedecked-in-red staff gives a luxe gleam to the quirkily chic decor, which seems all the more whimsical in the heart of some decidedly wild terrain.
Double rooms from £94.74 ($118), including tax at 18 per cent.
Rates usually include the daily breakfast buffet, including fresh-from-the-farm eggs, pastries and the like.
At the hotel
Sauna, gym, free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: a television; air-conditioning; a minibar; free bottled water; and tea- and coffee-making kit.
Our favourite rooms
Your biggest decision when booking your trip is: mountain or forest? Both views are wondrous, but it's the snow-capped peaks that've stolen our hearts, so we'd opt for a mountain-view room. Almost all rooms are essentially identical, thanks to that good-old Soviet architecture, but splash out on a Signature room for more space and a few extra-Instagrammable design flourishes.
The large indoor pool has mountain views, but it's pleasantly heated so swimmers stay cosy while gazing at the snow. There are loungers on the terrace, which stretches outdoors (ideal for lazing about on sunny days).
Bring your hiking boots if you're heading up the mountains on foot… or just your camera if you prefer to ascend in the chopper.
All public spaces are wheelchair accessible, and two rooms are specially adapted.
It doesn't really matter where you sit: the floor-to-ceiling windows make the vistas unmissable.
Leave your hiking boots in your room, and dress up a little.
Traditional Georgian delights are served up alongside Western European dishes in the spacious ground-floor restaurant. The food's delicious and the service superlative, but the real star is the views. The inspiring landscape's left its mark on the menu, too: the chefs collaborate with local suppliers from the nearby town of Stepantsminda and throughout the region, with the goal of introducing dishes passed down through generations to a new audience.
Adjoining the restaurant, the bar's a laid-back and hospitable spot for cocktails, with a chilled-out soundtrack and plenty of classics on the menu (Moscow Mule, anyone?) There's an inpressive array of cigars on offer, too.
The restaurant's in action 7am to 2am. If you were still there till closing time, don't worry: breakfast on weekdays is served till a leisurely 10am, and on weekends till an even more leisurely 11am.
The room service menu of soups, salads, burgers, pastas and pizzas will satisfy late-night cravings after restaurant hours.
Kazbegi's on the northeastern edge of Georgia, near the small town of Stepantsminda.
You’ll probably fly to Tbilisi. (The hotel's actually closer to the Russian border than the Georgian capital, but there aren't any handy airports over that side.) Georgian Airways flights from around Europe touch down at Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport (TBS)
While you could technically drive yourself the three hours from Tbilisi, we wouldn’t particularly recommend it. You’ll have a more relaxing journey if you arrange a transfer (plus you'll have hands free to Instagram the views).
Helicopter transfers are expected to be available from Tbilisi soon.
Worth getting out of bed for
Exporing is the name of the Northern Georgian game: you've admired the mountain and forest views from your window, now get out and roam around in 'em. Rooms Hotel can arrange plenty of excursions and there's even an in-house team of expert guides ready to help you discover the region, from hikes of a few hours to days-long adventures. The iconic Gergeti Trinity Church is a must-visit spot if you like your vistas vast and want to get a sense of community life – it's a splendidly isolated 14th century site, but still hosts regular Orthodox services. The edenic setting of the Gveleti Waterfall is well worth the hike, or 4x4 ride if you're a less energetic sort; an extended adventure could see you venturing to the far-off village of Juta and spending the night in a shepherd's hut (shepherd not included). And if you fall head-over-heels for gorgeous Georgia and want to see more, ask Rooms' guides about travelling further afield: they can arrange excursions all over the country, from back in the capital Tbilisi – stay at equally hip sister properties Rooms Hotel Tbilisi and Stamba Hotel – or all the way out by the sea at Batumi.
And if all that fresh air and awe-inspiring nature gets a bit overwhelmingly wholesome, head to the hotel’s cosy members'-club-esque casino – it’s easy to avoid if the click-clack of the roulette wheel isn't music to your ears, but very popular with visitors from over the border (gambling’s illegal in Russia).
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this mountain-view hotel in Kazbegi and unpacked their mountain-tested hiking boots and a bottle of Georgian wine, a full account of their Caucasus country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Rooms Hotel Kazbegi in Georgia…
Did you know Georgia was cool? Well, now you do. A team of creative Georgians are putting their homeland on many a stylish traveller's map by taking intriguing historic sites – a Soviet sanatoriam here, a former printing house there – and updating them with more than a dash of hipster flair. The mix of industrial-chic minimalism (à la Downtown Los Angeles, Shoreditch, Williamsburg or every other interiors account on Instagram) and local Eurasian flavour works a treat, with richly coloured textiles contrasting against all-white walls. The cosmopolitan East-meets-West setting, which echos that of city sister hotels Rooms Tbilisi and Stamba, is complemented by the jarringly beautiful sight of the jagged mountains beyond. If you're content to stay in and admire them from afar – while lounging by the pool, perhaps, or knocking back a cocktail at the bar – you'll have no shortage of views: Mount Kazbegi's an ever-present feature, looming silently above everything else. And if you'd rather get out and explore, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi's team of expert local guides is standing by…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Rooms Hotel Kazbegi’s Guestbook below.
This is great. There's wonderful food to get you charged up for some amazing hikes in the area and drinks and a spa to recover after a long day. I would definitely recommend!